The Symposium ...

The Symposium will be held on Friday May 16th, 2014 from 9:45 am until 5:00 pm at Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico. The deadline to register online and to submit titles for poster presentations is Thursday May 8th, 2014.

Online Registration is now closed. Please contact the organizers for the possibility of a late registration.

Download Full Program (PDF)

Featuring the following speakers:

Tobias Baumgart is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Research in Tobias' group is largely centered on the physical chemistry and function of biological membranes. Their aims include characterization of membranes containing lipids and proteins, and they investigate both composition and shape (curvature) heterogeneity. They also use methods to pattern antibodies and adhesion molecules to stimulate cells in a spatially controlled manner.
Kris Dahl is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Her group is interested in structure and mechanics of materials inside cells including the nucleus and cytoskeleton. By studying these structures, it is possible to provide insight into cell function and adaptation including stem cell differentiation, cancer metastesis and interactions of cells with nanomaterials. Dahl received her BS degree from Carnegie Mellon in 1998, and Ph. D. degree in Chemical Engineering under the supervision of Professor Dennis Discher at University of Pennsylvania in 2004. She performed her postdoctoral fellowship in Cell Biology at Johns Hopkins University before joing Carnegie Mellon in 2007. She is a recipient of a Whiteaker Fellowship and NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship for her training. She received an NSF CAREER award as well as a Young Investigator Award from the World Congress of Biomechanics.
Dennis Discher is the Robert D. Bent Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and an elected member of the US National Academy of Engineering – Bioengineering Section. He received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993 and has been at Penn since 1996, with appointments in Engineering and Applied Science and in the Graduate Groups of Physics, Pharmacology, and Cell & Molecular Biology. He has coauthored some 200 publications with more than 25,000 citations that range in topic from mechanobiology of stem cells and biochemical physics of protein folding to self-assembling block copolymers in simulation and in application to disease, with papers appearing in Science, Cell, PNAS, PRL, and Nature Physics. Additional Honors and Service include a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the US-National Science Foundation, the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award from the Humboldt Foundation of Germany, and membership on the Editorial Board for Science.
Mohammad Islam is an Associate Research Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Lehigh University in 2000 focusing on aggregation and adsorption behavior of polyelectrolytes. He then moved to the department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. There he worked on colloidal systems and carbon nanotubes. He joined Carnegie Mellon faculty in 2005. Since 2005, he has received several awards: National Science Foundation CAREER award (2007), the Sloan Research Fellowship (2007), the Kavli Fellowship (2008), and Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering George Tallman Ladd Research Award (2009).
His current research interests are to experimentally investigate the microscopic structure and dynamics of synthetic and biological soft matter to better understand traditional concepts such as phase transitions, self-assembly and the relationship between microscopic structure and macroscopic properties. He also applies his expertise in soft matter to challenges in nanoscience to answer fundamental scientific questions. Farther, he employs both soft- and nanomaterials approaches to engineer multifunctional materials with tailored optical, electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. These unique materials have diverse applications in areas such as photonics, fuel cells, supercapacitors, drug delivery vessels, scaffolds for tissue engineering, etc.
Shu Yang is a Professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at University of Pennsylvania. Her group is interested in synthesis, fabrication and assembly of polymers, liquid crystals and colloids with precisely controlled size, shape, and geometry; investigating the dynamic tuning of their szie and structures, and the resulting unique optical, mechanical and surface/interface properties. Yang received her BS degree from Fudan University, China in 1992, and Ph. D. degree from Chemistry and Chemical Biology under the supervision of Professor Christopher K. Ober in Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University in 1999. She worked at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies as a Member of Technical Staff before joing Penn in 2004. She is a recipient of ICI (1999) and Unilever (2001) student awards from American Chemical Society (ACS) for outstanding research in polymer science and engineering under the supervision of Prof. Christopher Ober. She was selected by MIT's Technology Review as one of the world’s top 100 young innovators under age of 35 in 2004. She served as Materials Research Society 2010 Fall meeting co-chair and the Members-at-Large in the Division of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering of ACS.
Arjun G. Yodh is the James M. Skinner Professor of Science and the Director of The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) at the University of Pennsylvania. Yodh is the Co-PI of the PENN-UPR PREM Program. His current interests span fundamental and applied questions in condensed matter physics, medical and biophysics, and the optical sciences. Areas of ongoing research include: soft materials, complex fluids and networks, carbon nanotubes, laser spectroscopy, optical microscopy & micromanipulation, biomedical optics, functional imaging and spectroscopy of living tissues, photodynamic therapy and nonlinear optics.